Sunday, March 29, 2009

Food and World Peace

Do you have a recipe that just makes you happy?

Is there a food that makes your whole family smile and hum (just a little) while they eat it?

Do you believe that some recipes are so good that they might, just maybe, help bring about world peace?

Are you willing to share?

If you would like to share a recipe with the Food Friday crowd, please send the recipe and instructions (and a photo if you'd like) to frugalkeslers at gmail dot com.

Depending on how many people respond, I'll post the recipes for the next few Fridays.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Food Friday - Spanish Rice

This is a recipe that Phil has wanted me to try. He got it from his mom who got it from our SIL. It was easy and delicious! You could use it for a side dish in a big Mexican meal or you could (as we did) just use it as a main dish.

6 Slices of Bacon (I used turkey bacon)
1 med. Onion (chopped)
1 sm. Green Pepper (chopped)
2-8 oz. Cans of Stewed Tomatoes (diced) (I only had 14.5 oz. cans so I just used one of those)
1 C Water
3/4 C Rice (uncooked)
1 T Brown Sugar
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
1 t Chili Powder
1/8 t Black Pepper
1/2 C Grated Cheddar Cheese (don't add until the end)

  • Cook the bacon in a large frying pan.
  • Remove the bacon from the pan but save 2 T of the drippings in the pan.
  • Saute the onions and green peppers in the bacon grease until they are tender.
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients (include the juices from the tomatoes).
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.
  • Top with crumbled bacon bits and grated cheddar cheese.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I am sitting in Phil's office.
He is molding young minds.
He's also in the middle (well, the beginning of the middle) of a treatment so he is on drugs.
He can't be trusted to drive.
But he can be trusted to mold young minds?
I'm the chauffeur.
His class is three hours long.
We live a half hour away and so I am waiting.
I'm supposed to be working on my YW lesson.
I'm blogging.
Shame, shame.

Projects Update

Bathroom: same status as last post. The OTHER bathroom is in severe need of attention. It is getting all the use and none of the attention. I should really clean it tonight.

Dress: everything is done except the zipper and hem. She looks beautiful in it. Yesterday we went shopping and she got new shoes, a necklace/earrings set, and an uplifting undergarment. Clinton Kelly would be so proud. I hate zippers though. Guess what I'll be doing at midnight while Phil can't sleep?

72 Hour Kits: I bought a new backpack with wheels. It doesn't all fit into it. I have sorted the stuff into boxes: Phil, Heidi, Eden. I need another backpack with wheels. Maybe two. Is it cruel to expect Eden to haul her own survival gear?

Laundry: Resumed its position of prominence but although washed, it hasn't been folded. Guess what I'll be doing before midnight? I can't stand to have laundry unfolded over night (Phil, on the other hand, can't stand to have unfolded laundry for more than five minutes. He's a good man to put up with me and my laundry wrinkles.)

Roof: done by 3:00 that day! Yeah, those guys are finishers! I should learn from them. It looks great.

Other upcoming events:
Saturday morning: the Laurels and a few of their prom friends are coming for a waffle party. Phil is a nice, supportive guy to let me invite (actually they invited themselves) a bunch of teens into the house on the last day of his treatment.

Saturday afternoon: unhook Phil from his poison and pull out the needle. I'm such a good nurse.

Saturday evening: drive to B'ham for YW training followed by a stake YW activity followed by the YW General Broadcast. Of course the laurels will all be at prom but those beehives better get their little skinny bods there!

Sunday: teach a lesson about patriarchal blessings. This isn't in the manual but we decided to reserve fifth Sunday lessons for topics that we feel impressed our girls need. I'm not sure what the beehives are going to be learning about but the laurels are going to be learning about planning for the future now, including the importance of patriarchal blessings.

It is such a good thing that our lives are fairly busy. If I had time, I bet I'd be throwing myself pity parties. Phil's CEA was up again. We seem to be having a steady (slow) climb here. CT scan in a couple of weeks. That should give us some more info with which to work. Yeah, too busy for pity parties. That is a blessing and truly one of the tender mercies I count.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Missing You ... see you soon

I've been on a bit of a blogging vacay lately.

Stuff to do. Busy, busy, busy.

I'm a good starter, need to be a finisher.

Master (term used loosely) bathroom: patched, mudded, sanded, mudded, sanded, ceiling painted, walls are up next.

Prom dress: mock up done and it fit well (relief), skirt sewn together, bodice and sleeves are in progress (prom THIS Saturday ... oh dear, panic).

72 hour kits: everything has been pulled out, evaluated, rotated, added to and is residing on my laundry table.

Laundry: waiting for the 72 hour kit mess to vacate so that the laundry can resume its normal prominence in the room that bears its name.

Roof (yeah, we get a new roof because of the hail damage): shingles delivered at 7:am this morning (woke Eden up, ok, it woke me up too) I guess we will spend the day listening to the melodic sound of nail guns. That should harmonize well with the hum of the sewing machine.

So now you know why I haven't been checking your blogs much. I'll see you soon.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I love Winn Dixie and Eden is busy

We went shopping today. We had a $25 gift card because we filled a prescription at the WD pharmacy. We had a coupon for $10 off a $50 purchase. We took advantage of lots of B1G1 (buy 1 get 1) and other deals. We bought over $100 of groceries for $30. Love it!

At the pharmacy the cashier looked at Eden and said, "you must be about two."
Me: "yup, next month, you are good."
Cashier: "I have a two year old."
Me: "Isn't it a fun age? They are so fun and busy and determined and opinionated."
Eden: "yeah, Eden, busy!"

Food Friday: Creamy French Potato Salad

Tired of the traditional mustard-based potato salad?
Here is a treat for you!

6 C Cubed Baking Potato
1/2 C Sour Cream
1/3 C Mayonnaise
1/4 C French Dressing
1/2 t Salt
1/8 t Black Pepper
1/8 t Celery Seeds
1 C Chopped Celery
1 C Diced Onion
1/4 C Diced Red Bell Pepper
2 Chopped Hard Boiled Eggs

  • Boil the potato pieces until tender. Drain.
  • In a large bowl combine potatoes, celery, onion, bell pepper, and eggs.
  • In a small bowl combine sour cream, mayonnaise, dressing, salt, pepper, and celery seeds.
  • Pour dressing mixture over potato mixture.
  • Chill at least one hour.
  • Serves 6.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Food Friday: Asparagus with Garlic and Onions

I found this on and it is really simple and oh so good. Phil loved it!

1/2 C water
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed*
1 C diced white onion
1/4 C butter
4 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and black pepper to taste

*to trim asparagus, snap the lower segment off (kind of like snapping beans)

  1. Pour into a skillet. Place asparagus and ionion in the skillet.
  2. Bring water to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Cover skillet and steam asparagus and onion 2-5 minutes, just until slightly tender. (Add a few tablespoons of extra water, if needed, to maintain steam.)
  4. When water has steamed off, immediately place butter in skillet. Continue cooking until onions and asparagus are lightly browned.
  5. Mix in garlic and continue cooking at 30 seconds.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

72 Hour Kits

With some of our tax return money, we are determined to update our 72 hour kits. Phil has one, I have one, and then we have a "bucket" of stuff that Phil's parents gave us. We are going to go through it all, reorganize, add stuff for Eden, and rotate out the food. As I've been researching 72 hour kits I'm learning that there are different reasons for having them.

I think I always thought of having one in case of disaster. I pictured us stuck in our home without contact with the outside world. Very War of the Worlds-ish. I hadn't really thought of having one in case we get evacuated (due to pending disaster). Of course, we want to be obedient to the prophet too and that is a pretty good reason to have one.

What are your reasons for having (or wanting to have) your 72 hour kit?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Food Friday - One Hour Rolls (the best yet!)

I have been on a quest. Not a quest for treasure or fame. Nay, what would I do with those things? My quest has been for a roll recipe that works well here (my mom's awesome recipe has been ok here but not the quality I was used to while living out West). I have failed to modify her recipe in order to make it work here. Is it the humidity? Is it the altitude? I know not and I have been very sad about it. During my quest to find a good dinner roll recipe (one that could compete with mom's) I have had another quest. I don't know about you but quite often I don't have three hours to make rolls. I REALLY wanted to find a good, yet quick, roll recipe.

Little did I know that my two (seemingly separate) quests would converge and be won simultaneously!

Behold, the fabulous one-hour roll that actually tastes better than my mom's recipe does here (it isn't quite as good as my mom's recipe at home).

5 t Yeast
1/4 C warm water
1 1/2 C buttermilk (I think this is the real key)
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C oil
1 t salt
4 1/2 C flour (I did 2 1/2 of wheat and 2 C white)
1/2 t baking soda

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine buttermilk, sugar, oil, and salt, then mix.
  3. Add the yeast mixture once it has become frothy, then mix well.
  4. Add flour and baking soda.
  5. Knead (with machine or by hand) until the dough is smooth (2-5 minutes).
  6. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  7. Roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick.
  8. Cut into triangles and roll from wide side to thin (forming a crescent).
  9. Place on cookie sheet (with nonstick spray on it).
  10. Let rise for 30 minutes.
  11. Bake in preheated 425f oven for 10 minutes.
These have a fabulous texture. This week I used honey instead of sugar and that worked great. I also reduced the oil slightly.

Enjoy making really good rolls in an hour!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


If your cheese of choice looks like this:

move along, this post is not for you.

If your cheese drawer looks like this:

... don't waste your time with this post.

if you buy pre-grated cheese (Mozzarella or cheddar) you might be interested in this little helpful hint.

Sam's Club has 5 pound bags (approximately 20 cups) of grated cheese for less than $9. This is a good deal folks. But I can hear you saying, "what am I going to do with all that grated cheese, it will go moldy before I can possibly use that much!"

My answer is this:
Buy qt. size freezer bags and then measure approximately 2 C into each bag (label and date the bag) and then throw it into your freezer/deep freeze. Then you just take out 2C each time you need it. It is a great way to add cheese to your rotating food supply. It is very economical.

Layne, if you kept reading, please don't think less of me now that you know I'm a cheese-meh.